Senscot ponders separate social enterprise mark for Scotland

Social entrepreneurs group to consult members after administrators refuse to apply different criteria north of border

Senscot, the umbrella body for social entrepreneurs in Scotland, is considering whether to launch a rival social enterprise mark after its call to apply different criteria in Scotland was rejected.

The Social Enterprise Coalition and south-west England umbrella body Rise, which run the scheme, did not respond to calls from Senscot to set a different qualifying mark to organisations north of the border.

Senscot asked whether the proportion of profits an organisation must reinvest in the business or the community to qualify for the mark could revert to 65 per cent of profits, as it was during the period when the mark was being piloted, from the current threshold of 50 per cent.

The mark's administrators said they lowered the percentage because they wanted to attract a high volume of entrants quickly.

Senscot said it would consult members over what to do next. "Do we, as many have been suggesting, create a distinctly Scottish mark with our own criteria and culture?" it said in its weekly bulletin for members.

"Or do we walk away - leaving Scottish social enterprises that are so inclined to go for the version on offer?"

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition, said it would not make sense to have more than one mark. "The mark transcends boundaries," he said. "It will be operating across the UK and internationally in the long term.

"If Senscot can do a better job I would encourage them to try, but I think our current position strikes the right balance - we have some lobbying us to relax it, and others to strengthen it. We'll follow closely what our Scottish colleagues decide to do."

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